All Publications

  • An Analysis of SNAP Online Purchasing Behavior in California: A Review of the First 7 Months of Program Implementation and Lessons Learned. American journal of health promotion : AJHP Foster, I. S., LeBoa, C., Hoffs, C. T., Polselli, A. M., de Nocker, C., Liu, S. Y., Rummo, P. E., Brandt, E. J., Rimm, E. B. 2022: 8901171221131194


    PURPOSE: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot (OPP) allows for the online purchase of groceries using SNAP benefits. First implemented in California in late April 2020, little is known about program usage. This study assessed initial implementation of SNAP Online in California using SNAP OPP transaction data from April - October 2020. Insights can identify usage differences by demographics, store availability, and rurality to help inform future pilot programs and nutrition initiatives.DESIGN: Using generalized estimating equations, we modeled county-level associations between transactions and county-level demographics, rurality, and retailer availability.SETTING: Transaction data from California's Department of Social Services (CDSS) was linked with publicly-available, county-level demographics.SUBJECTS: Anonymized county-level data on SNAP Online transactions and CalFresh households.MEASURES: The primary outcome was successful SNAP Online food transactions per county.ANALYSIS: Generalized estimating equation models with clustering by county was used.RESULTS: During the first 7 months, median SNAP Online transactions per county per month was 665; 2.7% of total SNAP redemptions were from SNAP Online. Counties with more female-led, disabled, Latino, or Asian CalFresh households had fewer Amazon transactions. Each additional Walmart per county corresponded to 260.7 more Walmart transactions (P < .001). Each percent increase in county zip codes covered by Amazon Fresh corresponded to 45.4 fewer Walmart transactions (P < .05) and 37.3 more Amazon transactions (P < .001).CONCLUSION: Number of stores per county was associated with greater online grocery transactions, whereas rurality was not. County-level SNAP demographics correlated with transactions at particular retailers.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/08901171221131194

    View details for PubMedID 36250387

  • Disparities in SNAP online grocery delivery and implementation: Lessons learned from California during the 2020-21 COVID pandemic. Health & place Foster, I. S., Liu, S. Y., Hoffs, C. T., LeBoa, C., Chen, A. S., Rummo, P. E. 2022; 76: 102811


    During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Online Purchasing Pilot (OPP) was rapidly expanded across the US. This program, enabling direct-to-home grocery delivery, could be a transformative step towards improving fresh-food access. However, lack of information on which areas are serviced by SNAP OPP hinders the identification of potential demographic and regional disparities in access. Lessons from the initial implementation period are critical for understanding continuing inequities and informing the implementation of future programs. In California, SNAP OPP expanded food access for 85.9% of the state's SNAP households in 2020-21. Coverage was significantly greater in urban areas, covering 87.2% of CalFresh households in urban limited food access areas as compared with 29.9% of CalFresh households in rural limited food access areas. County-level COVID-19 rates did not have a meaningful association with SNAP OPP coverage.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102811

    View details for PubMedID 35605572

  • Impact of a Scalable, Multi-Campus "Foodprint" Seminar on College Students' Dietary Intake and Dietary Carbon Footprint. Nutrients Malan, H., Amsler Challamel, G., Silverstein, D., Hoffs, C., Spang, E., Pace, S. A., Malagueno, B. L., Gardner, C. D., Wang, M. C., Slusser, W., Jay, J. A. 2020; 12 (9)


    BACKGROUND: Dietary patterns affect both human health and environmental sustainability. Prior research found a ten-unit course on food systems and environmental sustainability shifted dietary intake and reduced dietary carbon footprint among college students. This research evaluated the impact of a similar, more scalable one-unit Foodprint seminar taught at multiple universities.METHODS: We used a quasi-experimental pre-post nonequivalent comparison group design (n = 176). As part of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, research was conducted at three university campuses in California over four academic terms. All campuses used the same curriculum, which incorporates academic readings, group discussions, and skills-based exercises to evaluate the environmental footprint of different foods. The comparison group comprised students taking unrelated one-unit courses at the same universities. A questionnaire was administered at the beginning and end of each term.RESULTS: Students who took the Foodprint seminar significantly improved their reported vegetable intake by 4.7 weekly servings relative to the comparison group. They also reported significantly decreasing intake of ruminant meat and sugar-sweetened beverages. As a result of dietary shifts, Foodprint seminar students were estimated to have significantly decreased their dietary carbon footprint by 14%.CONCLUSIONS: A scalable, one-unit Foodprint seminar may simultaneously promote environmental sustainability and human health.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/nu12092890

    View details for PubMedID 32971829